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Southern Soul l January 2015

January 2015 | Volume 2, No. 1


January 2015/Volume 2, No. 1

Six Phenomenal Teens

Happy New Year! Best wishes for Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity.




Let the good times roll!

Join us for Junior Achievement’s

30th Annual

“Bowlin’ on the River”


Round up your friends and coworkers, and reserve your lane today for Junior Achievement’s largest fundraiser of the year, February 21-22 and February 28 - March 1, 2015 at a bowling center near you!

For details, call 901.366.7800 or visit Participating Bowling Centers

Billy Hardwick’s All Star Lanes 1567 White Station Road • (901)683-2695

Strike Zone Bowling Center 3330 Pine Tar Alley • (662)893-0530

Funquest Family Entertainment 404 US Highway 72 • (901)850-9600

Winchester Bowling Center 3703 South Mendenhall • (901)362-1620

made possible by event sponsors


Southern Soul l January 2015

In This Issue





Our December uMatter featured Stax Music Academy. The spelling of a student’s name was incorrect. The correct spelling is Khadir Muhammad.

B. Henderson

ART DIRECTOR Jada Thompson

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Terri Smith Anderson


In Memoriam: Our November, 2014 Issue featured the Kirk Family. In December, 2014, we lost the Kirk patriarch, Dr. Cleo Kirk. Our sincere condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends. His passing is a loss to our community.

Stephanie Norwood

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tyrone Chester John Doyle Danielle Inez Kathy Kirk-Johnson Patricia A. Kee Pepper Lewis Myron Mays Bishop Edward H. Stephens, Jr. LuJaclyn Taylor-Richardson, Esq. LaTina Epps Thomas

Southern Soul Magazine™ is a monthly publication of MAAC Media Group, LLC and is distributed in locations throughout the Memphis/Mid-South area. Annual subscriptions are available for $40.00 (twelve issues). Readership: 70,000 ©2015 by MAAC Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials and does not return unsolicited materials to sender. Photography and images obtained for editorial usage is owned by Southern Soul Magazine™ and may not be released for commercial use such as in advertisements. Reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s consent is strictly prohibited. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the positions or views of the editor or publisher. The publication of any advertisement in this issue does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s products or services by this publication. Southern Soul Magazine™ is a trademark belonging to MAAC Media Group, LLC.

MAAC Media Group, LLC | PO Box 18100 | Memphis, TN 38181 | Phone 901.366.SOUL (7685) Southern Soul l January 2015


In This Issue


John Doyle, a native Memphian, is the Executive Director of both the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum at FedEx Forum ( and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame ( A graduate of Rhodes College, he worked in radio promotions and marketing prior to opening his own advertising agency and, then, working as Vice President of Programming for Memphis in May. He and his wife, Lynn, have one son, Bennett, who now also works in Memphis radio.

LuJaclyn Taylor Richardson

LuJaclyn Taylor Richardson is an associate attorney with the law offices of Nahon, Saharovich and Trotz, PLC and is licensed in the states of TN and MS. Her areas of practice include personal injury, worker’s compensation and social security cases. Attorney Richardson received her baccalaureate degree from The University of Tennessee at Martin and her law degree from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She and her husband, Todd, are the proud parents of Jordan and Gabrielle. Attorney Richardson is a member of Cornerstone Church of Christ in Byhalia, MS and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Patricia Kee

Ms. Kee retired from Memphis City Schools in 2002 after 35 years of service, returning for an additional five years after two years in Tunica School System. She and her husband, Richard F. Kee, have been married 36 years and have two children; a daughter, Kara and a son, Kevin. Ms. Kee’s hobbies are singing, creative writing, and reading.

LaTina Epps Thomas

LaTina Epps Thomas is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Lifevantage Independent Distributor and currently pursuing the profession Naturopathic Doctor.



Voted 2013 Desoto’s Best Place To Hold An Event.




Photography By: Jay Adkins








SOUL SEEDS BISHOP EDWARD HOUSTON STEPHENS, JR. Golden Gate Cathedral Southern Soul l January 2015


Contents ARTS









Personal Injury







Southern Soul l January 2015


For some of our neighbors, a warm home means little food to eat. When the weather turns cold, a warm home is important.

Your gift to Mid-South Food Bank will help ensure that no one has to make the choice to heat or eat. Just $10 provides 30 meals.


901.527.0841 Southern Soul l January 2015


Soul Seeds

Bishop Edward H. Stephens, Jr.


Bishop Edward Houston Stephens, Jr. has a unique gift for reaching people at their point of need. Together with his lovely wife, Elder Beverly, and their three sons, Edward III, Eron, and Evan, Bishop Stephens pastors Golden Gate Cathedral of Memphis. His pastoral ministry began in 1986 with 130 members. Today the membership exceeds 3,000. Bishop Stephens received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies from Crichton Bible College; awarded an Honorary Doctorate from St. Thomas Christian College; and, is an alumnus of Harvard University’s Leadership Institute.

He is affiliated with the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, and was consecrated to the office of Bishop in 1996 by Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr., International Presiding Bishop. As a member of the Bishop’s Council, Bishop Stephens serves as the Bishop of the Central Region. A blessing beyond the pulpit -- Bishop Stephens published What In Hell Is Holding You Back? as well as The Promise is Still Good and most recently recorded Bishop Ed Stephens and Golden Gate Cathedral Choir Live in Memphis One.

Shift Your Thinking


Believe it or not, my first car was a five-speed Toyota Corolla. I vividly remember how that car gave me the opportunity to get around the city of Memphis in ways I hadn’t been able to before. What I recall most about it is how I had to learn to drive a manual transmission before I could take advantage of all the car had to offer. The experience of learning when to shift taught me several principles about transition that have stuck with me ever since. As I have ministered to people in some of the most pivotal points of their lives, I have discovered that many people stumble in times of transition. Things seem to go smoothly when we are comfortable in our surroundings and the pace at which our life is progressing, but something happens when it becomes obvious that it is time for us to shift. All of a sudden -- a ministry that was once flourishing in the faith community begins to plateau, or even decline. A couple that was once full of joy begins to settle into a rut, or even consider divorce. A person of vision begins to feel the stress of overexertion or burnout. The progress that was once almost effortless seems to have become elusive. When this happens we often begin to ask ourselves, “What in the world is going on?!” It may simply be time to make a shift.

By: Bishop Edward H. Stephens, Jr.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20 available for you and your family, but it appears as though you will have to do more than those around you to get it. You may have to do more than the other people in your department, family, or circle of friends; but, if you want to shift to another level -- you are going to have to be willing to manage the additional legwork involved. If you cannot, you will stall out when you had the opportunity to shift to a higher gear.

While some are unwilling to put in the legwork involved in a successful shift, others opt to receive only what comes to them automatically. The sad truth about transition is, while we want to shift into a better quality of life, sometimes we would rather not deal with the hassle of having to shift gears ourselves. If someone would shift for us, we would take it, but we are not willing to do the work of shifting on our own behalf. Sometimes people stall out because When we only go for what comes they can’t manage the footwork automatically, we end up paying involved in changing gears. a higher price than we would Driving my old Corolla with a stick have if we would put in the work shift required that I do more with ourselves. my feet than my friends did as they drove their automatics. Maybe The last thing I learned about that is where you are as you begin transition from driving that Toyota a new year. You see a better life Corolla was that failure to follow

all the way through can create bigger problems by grinding your gears. In life, just like in that car, you can either be in one gear or another. You can’t go forward if you are halfway between the two. This is critically important to consider as you make transitions in any area of your life. You can’t move forward in your present relationship if you are still stuck in your past. You can’t transition your ministry or business into tomorrow if you and the leadership are bound to how things were in the past. You can’t get a greater vision for your career, finances, or family if you can’t manage to shift your thinking beyond where you currently stand. As you start a new year, I challenge you to shift your thinking. Shift your focus off what has hindered you and begin to focus on how you would like your life to be different in the days to come. If you are teachable enough to be open to learning new things and flexible enough to make the necessary adjustments, I am convinced that this year can carry you farther than my Corolla ever carried me. Keep pressing!

Southern Soul l January 2015


Publisher’s Letter


The end of one year and the beginning of another is usually a time to look back to what has been and to look forward to what can be. We have much to be grateful for as we close out 2014. We launched Southern Soul Magazine four months ago and it has truly been a blessing. You never know possibilities ahead of you until you are willing to get off your assets and go capture them. As many of you have discovered, there is not much sitting around in our office. We are out in the community meeting new faces, discovering new gems and inspiring others to see our community in an uplifting and positive light. Our readership continues to grow. Many of you have phoned, emailed or pulled us aside sharing how much you enjoy what we are doing and letting us know that you look forward to each issue. We thank you for your kind, encouraging words, love and support. We make every effort to keep you engaged, well informed and entertained. I invite you to continue, (and if you are new to Southern Soul Magazine – start) joining us each month as we share our community with the world. Continue to visit our website and Facebook page and be assured; we appreciate any feedback you offer. That is how we stay on track.

Chris Boyd Publisher

This year, our Editorial & Artistic staff created an exciting format that will continue to give you a bold, visual, artistic, and soulful experience inspiring our community to love where we live, work, and play. Get ready! I want to wish you and your loved ones a safe, prosperous, and healthy New Year. Thank you again for a great 2014, and here’s to an even better 2015.

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Best Wishes,

Editor’s Letter


2014 was a good year. Stepping out on faith and belief in ourselves, Chris and I launched Southern Soul Magazine. The immense support and feedback since then has been phenomenal and rewarding. When the New Year arrives, many of us take a few moments to soul search and reflect on the past year. We remember the good times as well as the difficult ones. We add up lessons learned and make mental notes of moments that altered our lives forever. Turning that last page on the calendar often signals a turn in our life. We make goals and plan changes to implement in the future. New Year’s Day is probably the biggest day of quitting, the day of most plans to change, and the day with most transitions. Many plan to quit bad habits, others to quit jobs. Many plan to change their routines, diets, and lives. Whether you plan to make a change to your waistline, your bank account, your love life, or the color of your hair, we encourage you to take wee steps and turn each into giant success leaps. We have an array of contributing writers who have outdone themselves with their take on the New Year and new transitions. Bishop Stephens gives you seeds to sow as you transition into the New Year. Myron tells you about leaving the unpleasant behind. This issue introduces our SMARTbusiness column where you will learn tips to start a transition into starting a business. As we look to the future, this month, we feature six incredible teens representing a transition and a millisecond peek into our future leaders.

Toni Blount Harvey Editor-In-Chief

Thanks again for your support in 2014 and warmest greetings at the start of our most exciting year yet!

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A Hopeful Transition A Poem

By: Patricia A. Kee As we transition into a new year Let’s reflect on the year we’re leaving behind, A year filled with turmoil, unrest and uncertainty Overshadowing accomplishments of our time.

Let us remember the value of our vote To elect leaders who care and understand, Who will go beyond giving lip service and Work to right the wrongs that plague our land.

Child abductions, senseless murders, restless teens Attacks on seniors, sexual assaults, educational change, Joblessness, corporate regroupings, illegal use of drugs Community problems surpassing an expected range.

As we transition into a new year There is something we all can do, Keep the faith; things will get better And grasp tightly to hope anew.

Old Jim Crow raised his evil head high again Proving that struggles of the past continue today, Social injustice, racial profiling, voter suppression Refueling our fight for equal rights day by day.

Believe that in the midst of darkness There is always a refreshing light, Controlled by a higher presence Who keeps us in His saving sight.

In a moment of presumed calm and safety It seemed our fears were a little relieved, Then we were dealt a fatal double blow: “Hands up and I can’t breathe.

As we transition into a new year Look forward to moving on, Without hesitation or second guessing Just a new vision and a hopeful song!

As we transition into a new year We cannot dwell on atrocities of the past, Instead we must focus on how life can truly be If we work to effect changes that will last.

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2014 Freedom Awards


Terri Lee Freeman

By: Pepper Lewis Photos Courtesy of the National Civil Rights Museum

Since 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum has selected and presented awards to individuals who have changed the course of history through their activism leading the charge to expand personal civil liberties and human rights. In 2005, the Museum added lifetime achievement awards to honor individuals who unselfishly fight for change. The awards are given at its annual Freedom Awards. The 2014 honorees were journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault (International Freedom Award); activist Robert Parris Moses (National Freedom Award); baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award for Sports); and career broadcaster Tom Brokaw (Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award for Journalism).

Terri Lee Freeman and Beverly Robertson

Each year, the Freedom Awards celebration begins with its annual Public Forum sponsored by International Paper Corporation and held at Temple of Deliverance COGIC. The Public Forum was Robert Moses

Robert Moses and Bathsheba Sams

Lisa Knowles Southern Soul l January 2015

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2014 Keeper of the Dream recipients: Dellarontay Readus, Katlyn Bryant, and Nicholas “Cole” Perry,

designed as an opportunity for the general public to hear from the Award Recipients, but its primary goal was to expose our youth to the Awardees and their acts of courage. For years, International Paper Corporation has been at the forefront of supporting the National Civil Rights Museum hosting the Public Forum and adding its Keeper of the Dream Award ceremony to the Public Forum. The Keeper of the Dream Award (appropriately named referring to the Martin Luther King’s Dream) is awarded to selected Mid-South youth in grades 6-12 that have demonstrated heroic humanitarian acts contributing to and benefiting lives of others. This year’s Keeper of the Dream recipients are Katlyn Bryant, Nicholas “Cole” Perry, and Dellarontay Readus.

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Pitt Hyde and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Frank E. Robinson

Frank E. Robinson

The official ceremony hosted at the Cannon Center of Memphis culminated with the formal presentation of the awards to the four Freedom Award recipients. Beverly Robertson was President of the National Civil Rights Museum over the past 17 years. Retiring this year, a symbolic ceremony was held with Mrs. Robertson passing the Museum helm’s torch to the new President, Terri Lee Freeman. The evening was elegant. The Award recipients’ contributions have made tremendous impacts to better our world. As each received their award, a brief summary of their contributions was shared. As each accepted their award, they gave sincere messages of hope, faith and continued change. The National Civil Rights Museum and International Paper Corporation have done a remarkable job of celebrating our civil rights leaders and Keeping the Dream of civil freedom alive. One of the lasting message for all is “The Dream Still Lives Because of You.” .

Connie Lewis Lensing and Tom Brokaw

Top Row: Deano Orr, Tom Brokaw, Mark S. Sutton, Laurie Sutton, Charlayne Hunter, Miska Clay Bibbs, Frank Robinson Bottom Row: Robert Parris Moses, Katlyn Bryant, Nicholas Perry, Dellarontay Readus Photographer: Wayne Crook, Bluestar Productions Southern Soul l January 2015

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Save the date

2015 Annual Fundraising Luncheon Saturday, February 28, 11:30 at the Hilton Memphis Tickets 50.00 For ticket info, call 901.363.3100

By: Pepper Lewis

Photography By: Tyrone Easley

Sisters In Service Foundation, Incorporated

2014 Twenty Pearls Fashionetta Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority


On November 15, 2014, the Sisters in Service Foundation, Incorporated, (the philanthropic arm of The Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated) hosted its 2014 Twenty Pearls Fashionetta. The event presented eleven beautiful and talented young ladies this year: Miss Kaylyn Nickhal Baker Daughter of Tanisha Baker & Marlon Pruitt

Miss Akili Jendayi Lawson Daughter of Lester & Mary Lawson

Miss Tia Barden Daughter of Lorna Akins

Miss Briana Alyse McCollum Daughter of Doug & Catrina McCollum

Miss Jada Aaliyah Eason Daughter of James Eason & Nikki Hammond

Miss Casey Michelle Oliver Daughter of Mr. Carzell & Mrs. Lisa Oliver

Miss Alexis Johnson Daughter of Dr. Samuel & Mrs. Nacquia Terry

Miss Emani Monet Quinn Daughter of Angela Nelson

Miss Nakiyah Johnson Daughter of Angela Warren & Jakuma Johnson

Miss Kaitlyn Madison Swain Daughter of Steve & Selma Swain

Miss Terica Latrice Kelly Daughter of Tanya Kelly, Ed.D & Eric Kelly Southern Soul l January 2015

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Miss Fashionetta , Briana Alyse McCollum and family

The Fashionetta provides an opportunity to enhance the young ladies’ understanding and appreciation of leadership, scholarship and community service. The Twenty Pearls Fashionetta has been a signature event for the chapter for many years. The

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Cynthia Bryant Welch, President

primary goal of the Fashionetta program is twofold: to provide an opportunity to enhance the young ladies’ understanding and appreciation of leadership, scholarship and community service; additionally to leverage the event as a vehicle to raise funds to support the philanthropic efforts of Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter.

as Miss Fashionetta with Akili Lawson earning 2nd Place and Kaitlyn Madison Swain earning 3rd Place.

The Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter presented its Alpha Kappa Alpha Fashionetta to Memphis in 1949. The fundraising event was spearheaded by Ethel J. Perkins Beta Epsilon Omega 4th The 2014 Twenty Pearls Fashionetta Chapter Basileus. Since then, crowned Briana Alyse McCollum the Fashionetta has presented


Since 1990, the Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships to numerous deserving high school students.

hundreds of young ladies to the community and garnered numerous funds for distribution in the Greater Memphis community to fund the Chapter’s international and local target programs and scholarships. Since 1990, the Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships to numerous deserving high school students pursuing post-secondary educational goals. In 2014, the Chapter awarded over $30,000 in scholarships via their Frances M. Duvall Scholarship program. Other signature programs presented by the chapter include Teenage Improvement Club (TIC), Cathryn Rivers Johnson Operation Big Sister and Freda F. Greene Summer Reading Program.

With over 450 dedicated women, Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter provides numerous hours of volunteer service as well as financial support to local organizations including United Negro College Fund benefitting LeMoyne Owen College, Shelby County Schools Displaced Student Services, National Civil Rights Museum, Hattiloo Theatre, MidSouth Food Bank, St. John Soup Kitchen Feed the Homeless, The Exchange Club Family Center, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, and, Alzheimer Foundation. Chapter Officers are Cynthia Bryant Welch, President; Stephanie A. Greer, First Vice President; and Teleesa Payne Mason, Second Vice President.

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Hey Myron!

Letting Go of Past Regrets New Beginnings in 2015 By: Myron Mays Photography By: Stephanie Norwood


Look back over the last 12 months. Did you fail to follow through with all your New Year’s resolutions for 2014? Did you embark on a new relationship that didn’t work out? Did you go “right” when you should have gone “left”? Did you end up doing something you swore you would never do? If you answered yes to any of these, chances are you might have regrets. Let’s be honest, regrets aren’t fun. They don’t make you feel very good and no one is signing up for them. Regrets are rooted in loss and are

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only reminders of decisions we should have made, but didn’t. Fact is, mistakes are not the end of the world…even though it might seem like it. It doesn’t mean you have to carry those regrets on your shoulders for the rest of your life. It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes serve a real purpose in our lives. Mistakes are a part of our learning process.

Don’t worry about loving “too hard.” Get that thought out of your head. Don’t go into love with low or high expectations. Just go with the flow. So…you went through that terrible relationship last year and you finally walked away from it. Good for you. Now you’re feeling as if you didn’t get a good return on the investment of your mind, body and soul. And on top of all that, you managed to convince yourself that you loved that person too hard? So as a result, you vowed to never love anyone again, and if you do, you’ll be careful not to subject yourself to such conditions again. And whether you know it or not, you’re now willingly held hostage by your relationship regrets while, the person who caused these regrets has gone on with their lives and is living happily ever after with someone else. Well, I personally know how it feels to love someone with the very core of your heart. I know how it feels to love someone to where it’s almost impossible to put the words together to express how you feel. You would be willing to do anything, even give up your heaven to go through hell with them while putting your own wants and desires aside to make them happy. I personally know how it feels to give your all until the end. I have loved so much . . . to the point where it wasn’t humanly possible to love any more. Then out of nowhere, a curveball comes along and turns your world upside down…and you’re left heartbroken. In some cases, such an experience would leave a person bitter. It would make a person shut down and not open their hearts to anyone else. No one wants to be hurt again. There’s no reason why you should put up a wall around yourself. There’s no reason you should have to shield your heart from the possibility of being hurt again. It’s not fair to you nor is it fair to the “next”

person. Believe it or not, it’s not even fair to the person who hurt you. Think about it…they were just being who they really are. Can you fault someone for being who they are? No. But you can take responsibility for having made that choice…right? Do you have relationship regrets? Well, let’s dissect them. What is the one thing all those regrets have in common? You guessed it…the person who has them. That’s YOU! In all your relationships, you are what’s known as the “common denominator.” That means all the people you ever dated have at least one thing in common. That’s “YOU”! All the regrets you are carrying around are a direct result of decisions made by YOU. There would have been no relationship had YOU not chosen those people. So you have to take responsibility for the part you play. That doesn’t mean beat yourself up over your mistakes. You just have to learn from them. It doesn’t necessarily mean you make “bad” decisions. You just have to start making better decisions. Do things a little different. At least it will put you in a different situation. You cannot get new results by doing the same ole thing right? In a perfect world, we should be free to love as much and as hard as we want to. And we are really free to do that. However, unfaithfulness, disloyalty and deceit remind us that this world is not perfect at all. So what do you do? How do you assure yourself that hurt will not come knocking at your door? Well…you can’t. You can’t prevent life from doing what it does. But here’s what you can do... Don’t worry about loving “too hard.” Get that thought out of your head. Don’t go into love with low or high expectations. Just go with the flow. Let it happen. Don’t over think it. In any relationship, just give it your best shot. If you don’t give it your best, then what’s the point of trying? Love has consequences. But if done right, love should not be stifled by its consequences. No one knows how much time they have left. So why waste it all wallowing in your past mistakes? My great grandmother used to say, “Be thankful that it’s as well as it is.” Life can always be worse and regrets can be the least of your problems. So let it go and keep it moving! Don’t pull last year’s regrets into your New Year! Leave them behind where they belong. Allow 2015 to be a year of new beginnings and no regrets. Besides, how can you pack for a new trip if you still haven’t unpacked your bags from the last one? Southern Soul l January 2015

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Hey Myron!

ASK MYRON Hey Myron: The other night I woke up and discovered my husband wasn’t in bed. I called his name and didn’t get an answer. I got up and walked into the bathroom and saw him with his phone in his hand. I asked him what he was doing. He replied that he was using the bathroom and he was on Facebook. This did not sit well with me. I didn’t hear any water running, nor did I hear the toilet flush. I know that some people take their phones into the bathroom with them, but who does it at 2 am? I don’t feel good about this. (Unsure) Dear Unsure: Taking your phone into the bathroom with you is sort of today’s version of taking a newspaper with you years ago. Especially in this day and time where Facebook is probably the most common form of passing time in today’s world. However, the bathroom can also be a good

place to get away with your phone to do mischief, so I can understand your concern. Has he ever done anything to make you feel that he could be hiding something from you? There’s gotta be a reason why this is not sitting well with you and it could be a sign of other problems.

Dear Troubled: I understand your fear. No one gets married to have difficulties. Life is fast and busy these days. It’s easy to get caught up in routine, careers and just everyday living. Sometimes people grow apart. That doesn’t mean that anyone did anything wrong. It just means that life happens…as it happens to all of us. People change, life goals change as well as situations and unfortunately, sometimes, those who are in relationships don’t change and grow together. And when there’s no togetherness, you’re almost destined to grow apart. 24 |

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But look at it this way, is there the slightest chance that he may have been telling you the truth? Is there a chance that you may have been overreacting? If you’re planning to bring this to his attention, make sure you consider all pieces to the puzzle.

Hey Myron: I have only been married for a very short time. However, it seems that my spouse and I are not as close as we once were. We both work and have careers. However, our schedules don’t always line up. We have children at home and they require a lot. It seems as if our agendas aren’t matching up anymore. I don’t feel the closeness that we once had and it seems as if we’re growing apart. It’s too early for us to have this kind of an issue and this worries me. (Troubled) But if your marriage is important to you and you want to save it, now is the time to get to work. However, here’s the deal…it can’t be a one way street. Not having the same goals and not growing together is what got you in this situation. So, the other party has to be willing to work at this as well. You must pay attention to each other; talk and communicate with each other; support each other; and most of all, spend time with each other. Then you’ll have no choice but to grow together.

Hey Myron!

Her biological father could possibly see you as a threat to his position as father.

Hey Myron: My wife and I have been married for less than a year. When we got married, I became stepfather to her 5 year old daughter. Every other week, my stepdaughter spends the weekend with her biological father; otherwise, she is at home with her mother and me. My stepdaughter and I have a great relationship. We get along well. I know she loves me and she knows I love her. However, I notice that when she returns home at the end of the weekend from spending time with her biological father, she is very cold and distant towards me. I’m inclined to believe that her biological father and his family badmouths me around her. That’s not very cool. I’m really a good guy and would never try to take the place of her biological father. I have children myself and wouldn’t want anyone trying to take my place. (Good Guy) Dear Good Guy: Well, look at it this way. If this is indeed true, there can be a million reasons why this is happening. When she is not around her biological father, she is around you. Even though you’re not her biological father, in the household structure, you hold the position of father, especially if you love and treat her as your own. So, her biological father could possibly see you as a threat to his position as father. And even though it’s not cool to say bad things about you around her, it really may be the only way he knows how to deal with the situation. People do odd things when they feel threatened. But, you said something important . . . “you know she loves you and she knows you love her.” That’s all that matters. As long as the way you treat her does not reflect any of the unfavorable things anyone may say about you, I think things are gonna be just fine.

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We Are Memphis.

Legal View

Car Accident? Know What To Do!


By: Attorney LuJaclyn Taylor Richardson

It’s 5:15 p.m. and you’ve just left work. You are on Interstate 240 and its bumper-to-bumper traffic when all of a sudden; you are struck forcefully from behind by another vehicle. What do you do? Panic? Call 911? Call your insurance company? Call an attorney? Unfortunately, as a personal injury attorney at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, this scenario is all too familiar. If you are badly injured, you may be wondering who will pay your medical bills or your out-of pocket expenses. There are other factors to consider, particularly if the driver that struck your vehicle was uninsured. The bottom line is you want to get fully compensated for your accident, including your property damage and bodily injury. It is very important to understand what to do if you’re ever in a situation similar to this and more importantly to understand your legal rights. Sadly, there are too many drivers without automobile insurance coverage or sufficient insurance coverage. In 2012, approximately 12% or 1 out of every 8 motorists

in the United States was uninsured, according to a 2014 Insurance Research Council (IRC) study. The law requires every motorist to carry the minimum amount of liability insurance in order to legally operate a motor vehicle. The minimum amount of insurance does vary by state. In the states of Tennessee and Mississippi, the minimum amount of liability insurance is $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for each accident. Although you may have liability insurance coverage, your insurance company may not pay your medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses. Your policy may have coverage for medical payments but may not carry uninsured motorist insurance. Under this scenario, your medical bills may exceed your coverage and you may not be “fully compensated.” Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if the at-fault party is uninsured. Often I am asked, “How much insurance should one carry on your policy?” It really depends on your individual needs. A typical rule of thumb is to obtain Southern Soul l January 2015

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Legal View enough insurance to cover your personal assets, i.e. your home, car or business. You should contact an experienced insurance agent to determine the best coverage for you. So, what steps to take if you are involved in an automobile accident through no fault of your own?

important information to remember: First of all, don’t panic. Instead, you should assess the situation. Are you severely injured? If you are, it is always best to call 911 for emergency assistance. Your life and the lives of your passengers are always priority. If you are not severely injured, exit your vehicle (if you can do so safely). Call the police to file a report. This is important, especially since most insurance companies require you to do so. A police officer will obtain the statements of each party involved and will take statements of any available witnesses. Obtain pertinent information from all involved parties. You should obtain their name, address, phone number, license plate number and insurance information if you are able to do so. If any party is uncooperative, it may be best to allow the police to obtain this information for you. If you have a camera or a phone equipped with a camera, take pictures of the damages to each vehicle. You should get different angles of the damages including the inside of your vehicle especially if your airbags deployed. It is always best to get up-close photos as well as the entire vehicle. Obtain the names and contact information for any potential witnesses. These witnesses could make or break your case. You can be sure that the at-fault party’s 28 |

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First of all, don’t panic. Instead, you should assess the situation. Are you severely injured? If you are, it is always best to call 911 for emergency assistance. insurance company is busy contacting witnesses in an effort to help its cause. Once retained, my firm attempts to contact witnesses in an effort to develop cases in favor of our clients. We also hire the necessary experts to help prove that the other driver was at fault. If you are injured, seek prompt and consistent medical treatment. Only a medical provider will be able to inform you of the full extent of your injuries and whether or not you could benefit from treatment such as physical therapy. There are also things you should avoid if you are a victim of an automobile accident. Since the police report is public record, you may start receiving unwarranted solicitation via phone calls or mail. There are entities that prey on accident victims for their own selfish gain. You should be leery of such solicitations or unsolicited correspondence. Remember, you are entitled to be fully compensated for all of your medical bills; pain and suffering; lost wages; and property damage to the extent of the insurance policy. If you would like to pursue a personal injury case, you have a right to seek the assistance of an attorney. You can bet that the insurance company has attorneys working for them. Therefore, you would benefit from

an attorney who understands the law and is experienced in personal injury cases. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that if they are unable to have you compensated, you will not owe them a fee. Being involved in an automobile accident can be devastating and can turn your world upside down. However, if you follow the tips above hopefully you will be able to get through this trying time. Remember, it is important to follow the rules of the road but it is also important to watch out for other drivers. I wish everyone safe travels! Nahon, Saharovich and Trotz, PLC is one of the largest personal injury law firms in the Mid-South. We handle a variety of different personal injury cases including, automobile and trucking accidents, catastrophic injuries, worker’s compensation, products liability, social security, and nursing home cases.

Providing real estate advisory services to corporate, small business, nonprofit, and government clients for 13 years.

Darrell T. Cobbins Founder

Universal Commercial Real Estate, LLC | 901.414.3315




Starting and growing a business is perhaps the most daunting and fulfilling challenge today’s dreamer might endure. First, there is the idea phase. Will my ideal

customer purchase my products or services? Next, you must take time developing the brand and raising capital. How will customers learn about my company? Do I

need my own money, a loan, or an investor to start? Ongoing efforts are needed to retain customers for the long haul. How do I keep customers coming back – and bring other customers with them? Southern Soul found the perfect solution to answer your questions and give a fresh perspective to guide you through the pitfalls of starting, growing and maintaining a business. SMARTBUSINESS - a new monthly column featuring Danielle Inez, and ding! Marketing Studio – will provide tips, insights, informative trends, essential business tools, and localized resources that every small business deserves to have in its arsenal. Danielle’s fun, but direct approach to small biz development, branding, and marketing will include useful gems for new and established entrepreneurs alike. Danielle Inez is the award-winning Owner, Director of Marketing of ding! Marketing Studio, a Memphis-based marketing management firm for small businesses. The marketing maven has been featured nationally by Black Enterprise and MSNBC. In 2014, she was named to Memphis Flyer’s 20<30 for her international client portfolio and local commitment to youth development and female empowerment in business. Find her online at Tweet her @dingmktg.

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Getting Your Small Business Started While You Are Still Clocking In


By: Danielle Inez

540,000. According to the Small Business Association, that’s the approximate number of entrepreneurs who launched a new business during the month of December. Passion, opportunity, and audacity collided, and half a million people followed the yellow brick road to financial freedom. But what do you do when you add bills to passion, opportunity, and audacity? Let’s face it; there’s a reason you are working your current job. Perhaps it was for work experience or strategic relationships; however, it’s safe to assume that the paycheck was an important factor. Most potential entrepreneurs have families, mortgages, college debt, grocery bills, and summer travel plans and rely on their income to maintain a comfortable lifestyle – dropping a job to pursue a dream is not always an option.

adjustments to your regular routine, you can jumpstart your journey to owning the small business of your dreams.

Start saving now.

The greatest barrier to entrepreneurship is usually financial. Self-employment requires a great deal of discipline during the bootstrapping phase. That’s why it’s smart to practice saving your money now. While you develop your business idea, set aside a small amount of cash from each paycheck. Reach out to loved ones for monetary contributions to cover your start-up costs. And don’t forget that your emergency fund is essential; in addition to the money saved for your first six months of business, also aim to save money to cover up to a year’s worth of bills.

Review progress regularly.

It’s important to visualize the life you want to have. Create a vision board using magazine clippings that depict your dream business. Write down S.M.A.R.T. goals that will move you closer to your Opening Day. Does that mean you can’t pursue self-employment? That But don’t stop there. Periodically, revisit your goals and you’re destined to have a boss and a vwealthy CEO you vision board. Identify things you’ve achieved and goals that may have slipped through the cracks. Also, use this work to make wealthier? Absolutely not. With a few Southern Soul l January 2015

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Reserve online research, personal business calls, email exchanges, and business planning for afterhours or your break. time to reflect on your efforts thus far. Make sure you’re headed in the right direction. If not, it’s okay to change course.

Use projecttracking tools.

When you work full-time, it’s hard to juggle the day job and your after-work passion. Rather than try to remember everything that needs to be done; utilize a project management tool to stay organized. Websites like allow you to input tasks, assign deadlines, attach files, and even collaborate with others. The Memphis-based “productive sharing” application provides a freemium service that encourages you to track the status of your graphic design, web service, or even public relations campaigns.

no 40-hour per week obligation, scheduling your social media posts is the most efficient way to stay engaged. As a general rule, you should post ten tweets, three Facebook updates, and one LinkedIn post per day. Spend a bit of your time each week, scheduling your posts for each day. Then, hop on before work, during lunch, and after hours to engage with potential customers who’ve engaged with you. #TweetChats and other realtime events should be scheduled for after work when you can dedicate your undivided attention to your online community.

Extend your work hours.

I know. It’s tough. After working a 40+ hour week, you can’t imagine dedicating another 10-20 hours to a “second job.” Just remember this is only temporary. Use your project Protect your paycheck. manager to help maximize your Don’t forget that your job serves a time. Services like FocusBooster. purpose. Reserve online research, com also provide tools to keep you personal business calls, email on track and moving towards your exchanges, and business planning opening day. Every week, you’ll for after-hours or your break. Make have new progress to show for your sure you know your office’s policy efforts. on using their property (including your work email!) for personal use. Communicate with Though some businesses are fairly your boss. Eventually, your business will get flexible, many are not. You don’t to the point you’ll need to tell want an unexpected meeting with HR before you’re ready to step out your boss about your venture. You on your own. That brings me to the might have to schedule meetings during the day, coworkers might next tip. become customers, or your passion Schedule your could just be too obvious to ignore. social media. Don’t be afraid to talk about your You’ll soon learn that even with small business. If you’d like greater 32 |

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flexibility at work (i.e. a 4-day work schedule instead of 5), this is your opportunity to have a conversation about your needs. Make sure to keep your job responsibilities at the forefront of the conversation. After all, it’s not your employer’s job to finance your passions. However, a supportive work environment will mean an understanding that your dreams extend beyond the workplace.

Eventually, quit.

How soon you quit your day job will be dictated by how aggressive you are when saving money, your ability to develop your business after work hours, your family’s needs, health benefits, and other factors unique to you. Just remember that you will eventually reach a fork in the road where a decision must be made. If your day job is limiting business growth, don’t be afraid to let it go. Ideally, your small business will replace the income you made from your job, but that may not happen immediately. Focus your energy on improving your service, retaining your customers, and automating as much of your business as possible. Remember the stars may never align. You’ll never experience the perfect moment when developing your business. Setbacks will occur when you feel least prepared to tackle them. Don’t let this deter you. You can’t eliminate the risks, but you can use the tips above to curtail their impact. When you launch your new website; host your ribbon cutting event; process your first order; or, sign your first contract – those moments will make the long nights and tough decisions worth it. Pursue your passions and good luck with your new business in 2015.

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Five Resolutions You Can’t Afford to Neglect By: Tyrone Chester


Year in, year out, resolutions come and go. Fitness centers see an immediate upsurge in activity in January as the masses decide now’s the time to finally get into shape. But it’s business as usual as soon as the resolve wears thin. As the credit card bills begin arriving in late January, New Year’s vows to improve finances give way to a feeling of hopelessness. How can you possibly expect to get ahead when you’re drowning in debt?

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This year, be proactive and forget the “all or nothing” New Year’s resolution. Instead of jumping into a rigid five days per week fitness regime, take steps toward improving your health by choosing realistic, attainable goals. You know that you went overboard with your holiday spending and you know that next credit card bill will be a whopper. Brace yourself. Instead of allowing that bill to weaken your resolve to improve your finances, use it to motivate yourself.

How can you possibly expect to get ahead when you’re drowning in debt?

Finance Resolving to improve your finances is smart but it involves action. Simply writing, “improve finances” on a list of New Year’s resolutions won’t do. Just as you must exercise and eat less in order to lose weight, you must also get moving in order to get your finances in shape. While there are dozens of steps you can take to improve your finances, the following five resolutions are ones that you can’t afford to neglect. The first two resolutions are steps you can take right now while your resolve is at its peak. Spend a few hours on these and you’ll only have three steps remaining to consider throughout the year.

1. Write your will - Consumer Reports estimates that nearly 66% of people do not have a will. Even if you don’t have much of an estate, writing a will is important, especially if you have children. Who do you trust to appoint a guardian for your children? You or the state? A will is a tool that you can use to appoint your own guardian for your children as well as designate the distribution of your assets. If you die without a will, the state will determine who gets what and who will take care of your children. Writing a will is simple and not as depressing as you might think. In fact, it is empowering because you are taking charge of a situation according to your wishes. Numerous software programs are available to assist you in making out a simple will that is completely legal in your state.

2. Review your insurance – If your house were to burn down tomorrow, would you have enough insurance to fully rebuild it, replace all of its contents, and provide for temporary living expenses in the interim? Are you sure? If you were to get into an automobile accident with a high-end luxury car and it was your fault, would you have enough insurance to cover the cost of repairs? If the other driver sued you for hundreds of thousands of dollars because he was left a paraplegic, would your insurance cover it? Do you have enough life insurance to provide for your family if you were to die unexpectedly? Take a look at all of your insurance policies and make sure you have adequate coverage in all areas. As you progress through life, your insurance needs change, which is why it’s important to review your coverage periodically. You may find you can reduce coverage in some areas or may need to increase it in others depending on how your situation has changed since the last time you reviewed your policies. While you’re at it, make sure to doublecheck the beneficiary of each policy. Is this person still alive? Is this the person you want to receive the funds should you die? Many people forget to re-designate beneficiaries after a divorce.

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Do you have a retirement plan or IRA? If so, are you contributing the maximum amount?

3. Start saving now – Do you have a retirement plan or IRA? If so, are you contributing the maximum amount? If not, increase your contribution. You’ll feel a pinch at first but soon; you’ll grow used to it, especially if you can have your contribution taken directly out of your paycheck. If you don’t have either one, open a Roth IRA and set up automatic contributions up to the annual limit. The sooner you get started saving, the more you can take advantage of compound interest. Do you have an emergency fund? What would you do if you lost your job suddenly? How would you pay the bills? What if you need a new furnace in the middle of winter? How will you pay for it? An emergency fund gives you peace of mind and funds that you can use should an emergency affect your pocketbook. Plus, instead of paying interest by using a credit card, your emergency fund can earn you interest if you place it in a high interest savings account.

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4. Reduce your credit card debt – Take a look at the whopper of a credit card bill, in particular the line that details the finance charges. How much money are you paying for the convenience of instant gratification? As long as you have an unpaid balance, you’ll be paying finance charges every single month. Now look at the minimum payment due. It may be surprisingly low in contrast to the amount you owe. If you’re in the habit of paying the minimum due, you’ll never get ahead. It’s time to break the hold the credit card company has on you and start paying down your credit card balance. In fact, if you’re paying double-digit interest rates, it’s in your best interest to put as much money as you can toward paying off your credit cards. In addition to paying down the balance, a crucial step in reducing your credit card debt is to stop using the card in the first place. This means delaying gratification. But those black leather boots are so cute! Not so fast. They’re cute but ask yourself if you’re willing to go into debt for them. If they are simply a must-have item, try an old-fashioned approach: save up for them.

5. Improve your credit score – Those with poor credit pay more for loans but did you know that your credit score is used to determine other rates? The insurance industry uses credit scores when determining how much to charge you for insurance. If you’re struggling financially and have a low credit score, you’ll feel the pinch even more in higher insurance rates. In addition, employers also look at credit scores when evaluating job candidates. Credit scores serve as a gauge of your responsibility. If you can’t handle your finances, how are you going to handle other duties? Now, not only are you suffering financially and paying high insurance rates, you’re going to have a tough time landing a higher paying job!

If you’re headed to the gym this January with a fresh resolve to get into shape, you fully expect to hear the fitness trainer say “no pain, no gain.” The same is true as you work to fix your finances. It will be painful. You will need to make sacrifices in how you spend your money. But just as you’re willing to sweat for a few hours each week, if you put your mind to it, you can take charge of your finances.

Do yourself and your future financial situation a favor by working to improve your credit score. Pay your bills on time religiously. Don’t apply for store credit simply to get that 10% one-time discount. Pay down your credit card balances.

Changing jobs? What are you doing with your retirement savings? The best choice for you will depend on your previous employer’s plan document, your specific needs, and the advice of your tax advisor. Contact a Waddell & Reed financial advisor to learn more about retirement plan distribution options and how they can affect your financial future.

Waddell & Reed, Inc. AD-RP-LVGEMP-H2 (10/14)

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Pamela D. Pitts, CFP® Financial Advisor 6060 Poplar Ave Suite 450 Memphis, TN 38119 Office: (901)685-2700


Thinking of Returning to College?

Older Students Have An Advantage


By: Tyrone Chester

When you show up for your first college class and notice many of the students are considerably younger than you, it can make you feel out of place. It may even make you second-guess your decision to return to school. If you’re back in school and feeling like an old dog who can’t learn new tricks, it’s time you recognize the special advantages you possess as an older student.

A Wealth of Experience

As a mature college student, you have experience and knowledge younger students won’t gain until several years, if not decades, in the future. Whether you’ve been working, raising kids or traveling the world, over the years since you’ve left high school -- you’ve gained valuable knowledge in the form of life experience. This experience may translate 38 |

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into college credits through independent study, internships or simply testing out of courses where you have considerable knowledge.

Clearly Defined Goals

If you know any younger college students -- your own kids or their friends, perhaps -- you probably know how hard it can be for them to settle on a major. You, on the other hand, have probably returned to school with a clearly defined goal in mind. Older students usually know what their objective is when they return to school. Younger students, however, often find themselves changing their major as they grow and change. Knowing exactly what you want to do as a mature student saves you valuable time and money.

Familiarity with Subject Matter

As a mature student, you’ve probably been exposed, at least to some degree, to much of the subject matter you’ll study. Whether through work experience, personal reading for enrichment or through a variety of life experiences -- you may be familiar with concepts, ideas and topics that younger students have never heard of or are only vaguely familiar with. This extra knowledge will put you ahead of the competition in class when you’re able to discuss topics that are new to younger students.

Increased Stability

By the time you’re in your 30s, 40s or 50s, you probably have a level of stability in your life that many younger students do not. Concerned with opinions of their peers, social activities and school sporting events -- many younger students fail to get as much out of the college experience as they could. On the other hand, older students often appreciate the chance to learn and are able to devote themselves to their education without allowing distractions to interfere with the learning process.

When you initially return to school, it is easy to feel you are out of your league because you are older As a mature student who’s probably faced a fair share of obstacles in the past, you’ve gained valuable than the average student and the length of time that’s problem-solving abilities. Younger students, however, elapsed since you left high school. Realizing you have an advantage as an older student, however, will boost may not have had the opportunity to do so. For your confidence and remind you just how much you example, if you find yourself at odds with one of your instructors, you may arrange to meet with him have to gain and how much you have to offer. and discuss your differences until you resolve the situation. A younger student, on the other hand, may simply opt to drop the class and choose another instead of meeting the challenge head on.

Ability to Overcome Obstacles

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Set Goals – Not Resolutions A Healthier You in 2015


It’s that wonderful time of year when we sit down and make our New Year’s resolutions, or as I like to call them “the unrealistic expectations of my want to be perfect inner self.” You know, the super grandiose lists we make to lose 30 pounds, go to the gym every day, don’t eat any more sugar or chocolate or whatever else you really love to eat. Yes … those lists. These are the lists that excite us. We follow them strategically, talk about them often, and even begin to compete with our loved ones for the first few months. By month three or four we begin to “take time off ” from our resolutions. Our lives become busy, and although we may still be hanging on, we do not

By: LaTina Epps Thomas have the burning desire to continue what we started. For me over the years these lists became depressing. I would find the list eight or nine months later and realize it was a complete fail! So a few years ago, I decided to change. I decided I would no longer set myself up for failure with huge goals that I, realistically, could not possibly achieve. I had great intentions, but the endurance to make the resolution all year long was not there. I decided to resolve more general goals and list how I would achieve the goals. Well, this year, like most people I need to lose a little weight. I no longer fit into my “fat” jeans and I see a number on the scale I have

Change is a necessary part of life. If we are not changing and growing, we will become stagnant. never seen before! So I’ve had that honest, sobering, but loving talk to myself in the mirror! You too may have had this talk with yourself. I’ve Southern Soul l January 2015

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Find an exercise or exercises that you enjoy doing. If working out is a chore you’re less likely to continue. decided this year I don’t just want to lose weight, my goal is really to be healthier. I think it’s safe to assume we all want to be healthy. It’s the most important gift we can give ourselves. So, to accomplish this particular goal here are some suggestions to get started.

Enlist a friend or friends to hold you accountable for your progress. It’s always easier to stay on track when you know someone else is there to cheer you on or keep you on track. As we all know, there will be times when you just don’t feel like it! Make a doctor’s appointment to

Get a liter water bottle that is

bisphenol A or BPA (a chemical found in plastic bottles, plastic packaging and the linings of food and beverage cans) free that you can carry around so you can keep track of how much water you drink. The average adult needs at least 3 liters of water a day. When you exercise or when the weather is hot you need even more. (By the way, you can help relieve most headaches by drinking one glass of water every 10 minutes for one hour! But be close to a bathroom when doing this!)

Remember, your body is

precious and you only get one. It needs the best quality food you can afford, to function at its best. I think we’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat!” It’s even more important as we get older.

Find good supplements and

If you haven’t had checkups in a

year - make appointments to do so. It’s important to know how your body is functioning and whether there are health issues you may need to address.

vitamins. Buying the best quality food does not guarantee you get every nutrient your body needs. Good Earth is an exceptional brand that carries a raw, organic multi vitamin. This brand can be easily found in The Vitamin Shoppe. They also have an excellent line of vitamins and minerals that are made from fruits and vegetables, not processed products.

For one week, maintain a diary of what you eat. You can make it easy on yourself by using an app

Find an exercise or exercises that you enjoy doing. If working out is a chore you’re less likely to continue

get a complete blood-work up. You should start the year off knowing how your body is functioning on a cellular level.

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on your phone such as the app “Lose It.” It’s free, convenient and incredibly easy. When you see how many calories you really consume in a day, it will help you make better food choices. After your first week, decide to keep track of your daily food consumption for another week. Making your goal weekly makes the goal easier to attain.

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it. Make a promise to yourself that you will do something every day. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, eventually leading up to one hour a day. For example, yoga is not only excellent for your body, but it brings your body, mind and spirit into alignment. It helps to reduce stress and increase flexibility. When you begin to think you don’t have time for working out, because life has a tendency to get in the way sometimes, remember you are worth it, and if you don’t take care of yourself who will?

Remember to laugh a lot and be

loving and kind to yourself. Change is a necessary part of life. If we are not changing and growing, we will become stagnant. It’s not always easy and we sometimes stumble, but when we stumble, it’s okay to get up and start again. Sometimes we have to reassess our goals and adjust them to the change or what caused the stumble. So, while you are planning your transition into the New Year; incorporate the above simple steps to a healthier you and reaching manageable goals. Just thinking about losing weight or getting healthier will not change a thing. You must actually make the necessary changes needed to accomplish your goals. Remember life is stressful enough! Why add more stress by listing incredibly lofty resolutions that are too hard to attain and often lead to an epic fail? Go with more general goals and determine a plan to achieve them.

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Southern Soul l January 2015 â&#x20AC;˘ like us


Willie “Poppa” Mitchell Memphis Soul Legend By: John Doyle


Photographs courtesy of the “Mitchell Family Collection”

Whether you are seven or seventy years old, inevitably November means Thanksgiving; February means Valentine’s Day; and, January means (urgh!) Resolutions. By the time you read this month’s issue of Southern Soul, you’ve probably already made your 2015 New Year’s resolutions . . . and, unless you were one of the first readers to snatch your copy from the racks, you, like me, have probably already broken your resolution (sigh!). January is the month of “renewal” and “rebirth.” We’ve all seen the images of old Father Time (I look more and more like him every year) handing off the hour glass to Baby New Year. As we decide what things we plan to do different, or better: eat better, exercise more, save more money, etc.

Rather than focusing “retroSOUL” on the changes of January and reflecting on the symbolic passing of Father Time… more optimistically (like the prospect of you sticking to that diet one more month!), retroSOUL is focused on the “rebirth” of Baby New Year. This January kicks off the birth of 2015, but, for some, it marks the anniversary of the passing of Memphis Icon, “Poppa Willie” Mitchell, the leader and patriarch of Memphis’ legendary Royal Studios and Hi Records. Willie Mitchell focused on rebirths. For every musician who ever walked into Royal Studios at 1320 Lauderdale, whether a novice musician or an already established superstar, Poppa Mitchell’s goal was to make them a better musician than they were when they entered. His track record spoke for itself. Southern Soul l January 2015

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retroSOUL Royal Studios, originally Memphis’ Royal Theatre, opened in the 1920s and closed as a neighborhood theater in 1955. The following year it was rented by Hi Records’ president Joe Cuoghi and partners John Novarese and Quinton Claunch and Royal Recording Studios was born. [Another bit of Memphis music trivia… Hi Records operated out of the legendary Pop Tunes Records Store at 308 Poplar, which serviced record distribution to thousands of retail jukeboxes throughout the Southeast.] Later, in 1963, Willie Mitchell signed with Hi Records and joined Royal as a recording artist, session trumpeter and producer. As a recording artist, Mitchell had musical success with hits like “2075” (1965), “Buster Browne (1965), “Bad Eye” (1966) and his biggest hit, “Soul Serenade” (1968). After Cuoghi’s death in 1970, Mitchell was promoted to Vice President. This was the rebirth of Hi Records. Under Mitchell, the musical direction of Hi Records changed significantly from rockabilly to R&B (just as Satellite, later Stax, changed from country to soul). As producer and Vice President, Mitchell helped fashion the modern Memphis’ soul sound, and Royal Studios was renamed Mitchell’s Royal Sound Studio (today, Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios). Mitchell handpicked session players who helped define that sound, and who would become known as the Hi Rhythm Section, built around the Hodges Brothers (Mabon, Teenie and Leroy), Mitchell’s stepson Archie Turner, and drummer Howard Grimes. Then came Otis Clay, Ace Cannon, Syl Johnson, Bobby Blue Bland, a young Charlie Rich, Chuck Berry, Ike & Tina Turner, 46 |

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O.V. Wright, Don Bryant and Ann Peebles. As I told you in our November issue, Willie Mitchell (keeping his resolution to make her a star) handed Peebles her very first recording contract in 1968. Subsequently, she recorded 15 albums and 19 charting hit songs. Now, that’s a successful resolution. Oh, and then, of course, there’s Albert Greene, who was touring as lead vocalist of Al Greene & The Soul Mates in 1969 when Willie Mitchell hired him as a vocalist for one of Mitchell’s concerts in Texas. After that concert, Mitchell asked Greene to sign with Hi Records. The result was seven consecutive gold singles and, while with Hi Records, the sale of over 20 million records. Now, don’t accuse me of being a hack writer who doesn’t even know how to spell the artist’s name. Greene removed the last “e” from his name before recording his first album with Mitchell’s Hi Records and, of course, eventually became the Reverend Al Green. Mitchell took a talented vocalist who was attempting to mimic artists like Jackie Wilson or James Brown, and resolved to make him a star. And he did. It’s been reported that Green’s record sales while under the tutelage of Willie Mitchell at Hi Records surpassed the combined sales of Stax Record’s top recording artists, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T & The MGs … for their entire careers. Following Al Green’s Hi Records career, Willie Mitchell resolved to move Royal Studios forward. With each monthly page of the calendar torn away, rather than fading into obscurity, Royal Studios continued to welcome and record many of the biggest names in the industry. In the 1980s, Rod Stewart, Keith

Richards, Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductee Jesse Winchester, and more Al Green. In the 1990s, The Staple Singers, Tom Jones, and Boz Scaggs. Then after we partied “like it’s 1999,” Willie Mitchell continued to grow and evolve the legendary studio into the TwentyFirst century with projects for Robert Cray, My Morning Jacket, Buddy Guy, John Mayer, the return of Rod Stewart, and many others. Since Willie Mitchell’s death in 2010, Royal Studios has continued to be a family affair. Fortunately, and apparently because it is in the Mitchell family DNA, Poppa Willie’s offspring have made a resolution that Memphis’ legendary Royal Studio will always continue to serve as the “Home of the Memphis Sound.” Mitchell’s daughters, Yvonne and Lorraine, are continuing Poppa’s legacy, and that of Royal Studios. His son, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, serves as owner, manager and engineer; and Poppa’s granddaughter, Oona, serves as studio administrator. They get things done, and the stars have continued to come… Cliff Richard, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Drake, Keith Richards, and


Green’s record sales while under the tutelage of Willie Mitchell at Hi Records surpassed the combined sales of Stax Record’s top recording artists, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T & The MGs …

Mitchell and Al Green many others. If you’ve turned on a radio in the last month, you’ve heard “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars… partially written and recorded at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios. While on the topic of offspring… Poppa’s son, Boo Mitchell, is as busy as ever. You can find him firing up one of Royal’s vintage MCI recording consoles, original Pultec EQs or Universal Audio LA2As (for all you studio geeks out there), or recording a hit we’ll buy on iTunes next month. He also took time to produce this year’s Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, featuring explosive performances by Sam Moore, B.J. Thomas, Big Star, William Bell, Denise LaSalle and others. Before then, he joined director Martin Shore, the North Mississippi Allstars

Cody Dickinson and others to co-produce the award-winning documentary “Take Me To The River,” a soul-stirring, cinematic anthem of what Memphis and Memphis music is all about. Make a New Year’s Resolution to see it! Poppa Willie Mitchell’s legacy keeps on playing like a great soul classic. So does Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios, still located on the former Lauderdale Avenue, aptly renamed in 2004 as Willie Mitchell Boulevard. And in 2015, Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios stands as one of the oldest continuously operated music recording studios in the world. Your monthly “retroSOUL” audio assignment… or this month we will call it a Resolution (and this month, you have two). First, go to iTunes and listen to Willie

Mitchell’s “That Driving Beat.” It’s too cold to have your car windows down, so play it real loud and be proud that you’re a Memphian. Secondly, once again, listen to Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.” At the very beginning, you’ll hear five distinctive wooden beats, just before the launch of that legendary guitar riff. Those five beats, which you have probably heard a hundred times before, were created using a wooden Coca-Cola crate. You can still find that wooden crate inside Royal Studios. That legendary, driving beat is just part of the genius of Poppa Willie Mitchell. And if you have an artist suggestion for this space, tweet me @rocknsoulmuseum #retrosoul.

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Soul Stirrer

The Road to Our Future Outstanding and Phenomenal Teens By: Toni Harvey

Photography By: Jay Adkins

Travel generally creates a feeling of anticipation. Expectation of what is yet to come â&#x20AC;&#x201C; be it a new location, adventure, or just a trip to relatives. Each, in its own way -- generates a look ahead a -- micro-millisecond peek into the future. A New Year also creates thoughts of the road ahead; plans to change or improve and also a micro-millisecond peek into the future.

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Feature We all have future plans. We all have future hopes and dreams. But, it is today’s teens that carry the burden of delivering our future plans, hopes and dreams. We discovered six exceptional teens with extraordinary talents and intelligence whom will surely become our community’s future leaders and whom we can proudly hand our future to.

at the age of 13 was selected by The Today Show as the Today Show Kid Reporter beating out thousands of youngsters who entered the contest and endured a final round where over 39,000 viewers voted Deidre as the show’s official “kid reporter.” Kicking off an amazing five year adventure, Deidre has honed her kid reporter skills to outstanding proportions.

Youth Program Award. The award was presented by First Lady Michelle Obama and recognizes the country’s best creative youth development programs.

In December, 2014, Katlyn Bryant, Nicholas Perry, and Dellarontay Readus were awarded the 2014 Keeper of the Dream Award sponsored by International Paper featured at the National Civil We are extremely excited to present In March, 2014, Dwight Moore, Jr. Rights Museum 2014 Freedom six of tomorrow’s leaders and won the title 2014 Memphis-Shelby Award Public Forum. The Award is guardians of our future - Briana County Spelling Bee Champion given as recognition of youth who LaFay Brown; Katlyn Cheyenne advancing to the National Spelling have demonstrated extraordinary Bryant; Dwight Moore, Jr.; Nicholas Bee Competition. Channeling his courage, compassion, leadership or Lincoln “Cole” Perry; Dellarontay aptitude for words, Dwight is an service toward others. The award Alexander Readus; and, Deidre exceptional journalist. celebrates the heroism of young Shores. Each, with varying talents people who one day will shoulder In November, 2014, Briana LaFay and in their individual paths, has the awesome responsibility Brown accompanied her dance demonstratively shown our future of safeguarding our freedom school’s founder, Katie Smythe, is safe in their hands. and ensuring equal rights and to Washington, DC to receive the opportunities for others. In November, 2009, Deidre Shores, National Arts and Humanities Nicholas Perry, Katlyn Bryant, and Dellarontay Readus

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Deidre Shores

Teen Reporter / Future News Anchor / TV Host 50 |

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Charming and attractive, Deidre Shores immediately whisks you away with her energy and bubbly personality. Deidre Shores, daughter of Vanessa Conner, a 12th grade student at Cordova High School, probably mistook her baby rattle for a microphone – because she mastered a microphone by age 13. The first thing you notice is her confidence. Then you are swept away with her personality and her ability to engage you in conversation. Deidre has taken her microphone to heights few adults have reached. At 13, she found the courage to enter a national contest hosted by NBC’s The Today Show. The competition required the submission of a video interview. Following the initial elimination round, those advancing to the second round had video interviews telecast as segments during The Today Show. The last round was viewer call-in selections. Deidre won the competition out of thousands of entrants and became The Today Show Kid Reporter. . . and Deidre took her microphone on the road. Since then, Deidre and her microphone have successfully won other competitions and added thousands of miles to their road. In 2011, Deidre was selected to appear as a teen reporter with the Kids Show Cartoon Network. In 2012, Deidre won the Teen Reporter to Disney Dreamers Academy for BET’s 106 and Park. In Memphis, Deidre has been a guest reporter with Memphis WMC TV, Channel 5. During Deidre’s travels, she has interviewed numerous celebrities. Among her long list are Wendy Williams, Tom Joyner, Shaquille O’Neal, Danny Glover, Jacob Latimore, LaMone Rucker, Regina Hall, Steve Harvey, Terrance J and Will Packer.

With the cast of the Today Show

When she is not hosting a parade in Memphis or flying to interview a celebrity, Deidre enjoys fashion design. She enjoys humor and tries to find it in every minute of the day. For fun, Deidre combines her fashion design with her love for her dog – and designs clothes for her dog. With David Joerger, Head Coach Memphis Grizzlies

When asked what defines and drives her, Deidre shared “I am driven by my dreams. I know the things I want out of life are attainable, with effort. When I get frustrated, or I’m feeling lazy, I think about where I am compared to where I want to be. I know I’m not where I want to be, so I take steps to get there. With my talents as a broadcast reporter, I want to change stereotypes and take down social boundaries that are in the world.”

Deidre draws inspiration from her mother who is always by her side supporting and pushing her forward. She says she has overcome the stereotype associated with a single parent background because of her mother’s determination and example. Deidre says the other influences in her life are Wendy Williams and Oprah Winfrey. She points out that “they are the ultimate example of starting in one career and working your way up to where you land in another career.”

Wendy and Oprah have changed the landscape of the country through their reports of true life Deidre recognizes that as a stories and continued coverage broadcast reporter, her potential impact on others can be boundless. of controversial topics. Deidre is headed to college where she will no She wants to be an inspiration to doubt continue to shine as a young young children to seek a career in broadcasting or acting. One change reporter. Following college – look out Wendy, Oprah, and the world – she has in her sights is to change Deidre and her microphone are on the mindset of the youth. She says “youth today don’t try hard enough. the way! We have great ideas and want great things. But we just don’t put effort into getting it. That’s something I would work hard to change.” Southern Soul l January 2015

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Dellarontay Alexander Readus Community Leader Extraordinaire â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Future Politician

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An unwavering smile, a firm handshake and a twinkle in his eye, Dellarontay Alexander Readus warms the hearts of many and seems to have no reservations, problems or concerns. But to the contrary, Dellarontay, son of Lynn Readus, a 12th grade student at Melrose High School, has seen and conquered many life challenges in his short 18 years. Rising above these challenges, Dellarontay has become a leader among his peers, his school and his community. With a hefty 4.1 GPA, Dellarontay has risen above most of his classmates academically. Scoring a 31 on the ACT Test, Dellarontay has soared over many of his community’s students. Among Dellarontay’s achievements are President of his National Honor Society chapter; Vice President of Senior Council; student representative for the Parent Teacher Student Association; a community liaison for Leadership Melrose; and, a Memphis Challenge Classmate of 2015.

Feature for me as a blind single mother. As I got older, I realized the many hurdles she leaped to improve my life. I want to be the best I can in order to one day, take care of my mother where she will have no worries or hurdles.” Unafraid to seek new horizons, Dellarontay describes himself as an individual with the ability to brave new territories headfirst, surmount the unknown and if dissuaded, gain the courage to return and conquer. Dellarontay believes through education, he will accomplish his goals. After college, he wants to

return home and be a positive force helping the community grow and become economically independent. If past is prologue, Dellarontay will complete post-graduate studies with high class rankings. This, combined with his passion to uplift the community, his dry-wit and charming personality suggest a path to entrepreneurship, civic leader and politics. With Dellarontay at the helm of our future legislative leadership, we are in good hands.

Raised by a single parent, Dellarontay has experienced many hardships. At an early age, Dellarontay assumed the man of the house role. His mother is blind which often placed Dellarontay in the position of caretaker and family breadwinner. Despite these daunting challenges, Dellarontay continues to maintain his high academic grades, school extracurricular activities, school leadership positions, and a parttime job. Oddly, given there are only 24 hours in a day, he manages to spend 15-30 hours a week as a math tutor at Melrose. When asked what defines and drives him, Dellarontay shared “My mother is the most important incentive I have. She has cared

Dellarontay Readus

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Nicholas Lincoln “Cole” Perry Builder Extraordinaire – Future Engineer / City Developer

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Dwayne Spencer and Cole Perry


Reserved, handsome, and tall in stature, Nicholas Lincoln “Cole” Perry will no doubt design, engineer, develop and construct a better community. Cole, son of David and Kimberly Perry is a 12th grade student at Christian Brothers High. Since age 11, Cole has dedicated his spare time and talents volunteering and fundraising. He has combined his love of engineering and passion to help others to create an extraordinary contribution to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. Cole designed an interactive mural in the Habitat for Humanity’s Children’s Room, a place where Habitat homeowner’s children can learn and play while their parents focus on homeowner education classes. The design of the mural was to create a fun and lively environment for the kids to enjoy. In addition to the mural design, Cole raised funds and handled installation of the mural. Aptly named the Cole Perry Children’s Room, the mural covers the north wall of the room, has green and

black surfaces, and pictures of trees, God to do everything within my flowers and houses similar to actual power to lead others to hopefully Memphis Habitat homes. someday have a life as comfortable as my own. Community service When asked what defines and brings out my true inner self drives him, Cole stated “I engage by displaying my love for the in community service not only community and my love for others. because it impacts others, but Community service is not an because it also has a tremendous extracurricular to me but rather a impact on me. I feel my most useful lifestyle. It is my way of recognizing resources to give are my time and there are people in need, and I can energy. Although I am a young use my tools to help them.” adult lacking my own money to donate, I have time in my week and Cole plans to obtain a degree in a broad skillset that allows me to engineering and business with the help people of all backgrounds.” intent to combine the two majors to advance future technology and Cole is active at school, church its pertinence in society with the and with Boy Scouts and the goal of developing cost-efficient Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership government economic policies. Organization. He has volunteered for candidates’ campaigns, Cole’s sincere humanitarian participated in Model U.N., acts and selfless dedication to a Tennessee Youth in Government better community guarantees and is a cellist! His commitment he will become a leader in our to create a comfortable living community’s future economic environment for others is development, infrastructure and demonstrated in the giving of his land development. I expect a talents. With profound humility, few cornerstones and at least one he explained his dedication to earthquake proof skyscraper to bear volunteering “I feel that it is my Cole’s name in the not-so-distant duty to both my community and future. Southern Soul l January 2015

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Dwight Moore

Journalist Extraordinaire / Future Author 56 |

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Feature the importance of being informed and having the knowledge influences and assist in making positive life decisions.” Giving back to his community and others drives Dwight. He participates in food and clothing drives; 5k runs supporting children’s health; literacy fundraisers. Recently, he started tutoring students in math and reading. We asked Dwight to look down the road; imagine he could be the chief operation officer Today, when an event occurs, had the privilege to meet, interview of a corporation, government, within a few minutes, the world and write about three former or non-profit organization. is made aware. Of course, the United States Secretary of State Which would he select and internet, in large part, carries the Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell; why? Dwight responded that he weight of this accomplishment. and Condoleezza Rice; Civil Rights “would be the Director/COO But the actual feat occurs because leaders – Diane Nash, Bernard of a Youth Detention Center. I journalists around the world Lafayette, Andrew Young, and would make sure every youth are diligently keeping the world Charlayne Hunter-Gault; worlddetainee is aptitude tested and abreast. Media affects all aspects of changing journalists - Susan Taylor, receive counseling followed with our world. Accurate and balanced Tavis Smiley, and Earl Graves. mandatory education. Detainee reporting is essential. Thus, release would be conditioned Dwight is an avid reader. journalists are, in some ways, upon a receiving a certification; He attributes his curiosity as guardians of our world’s stability. high school diploma; GED; a job; the impetus of his interest in Few can carry this onerous task. or, technical school or college journalism and research. In admission.” Then, we meet Dwight Moore, Jr., addition to his love of journalism, the youngest of our future leaders. Dwight enjoys video games; As a freshman high school Reading at the age of two, writing reading; skiing; traveling; and student, Dwight has high school stories at five, competing in spelling tennis. He also enjoys competition. and college to complete before bees at nine, Dwight was destined “I’m competitive. I don’t like to perfecting his journalism skillset. to thrive with words, reading lose, but I learned at a young age, However, reflection on what and writing. Son of Dr. and Mrs. while playing board games with my he has accomplished to date, Dwight Moore, Dwight, a freshman parents, how to engage in healthy consideration of his humanitarian at Christian Brothers High School, competition. They taught me that, efforts supporting literacy and entered the world of a journalist every time I play, I win, regardless those less fortunate, combined in elementary school. At a young of the outcome. Don’t get me with his outstanding academic seven years old, Dwight began his wrong, when I compete, I have fun, accomplishments- we can rest journalism journey; and since then, but I go hard for the top prize!” comfortably with Dwight’s has interviewed several civil rights journalism impact on future media. Dwight is just 14 years old, but leaders and icons, journalists, One can only predict Dwight demonstrates wisdom beyond his entrepreneurs, politicians and will one day author numerous years and knows how he wants to outstanding individuals who have books, become a philanthropic, impact his community. “I would made a difference in the world. change many things; but one thing and perhaps a Nobel Laureate in Literature. In his young career as a journalist, here, in the Mid-South, is the Dwight has published articles in literacy rate, for more people to The Commercial Appeal. He has read well and comprehend. I know interviewed and written several the ability to read and comprehend articles about celebrities. He has affects all areas of one’s life. Thus,


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Katlyn Cheyenne Bryant

Volunteer Extraordinaire â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Future Entrepreneur / Philanthropist 58 |

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Demure and shy, yet extremely formidable with an endearing smile, Katlyn Cheyenne Bryant will lead the way for our community to assist individuals seeking a second chance at life. Her greatest passion is to eradicate homelessness; feed the hungry; erase domestic violence; and empower those without financial stability. Whew! Lofty? Unreal? For most; but, with Katlyn, and her stellar past record of volunteerism, it’s probably a future reality rather than a whisper in the wind. Katlyn, daughter of Lisa Shaver and Larry Williams, is an 11th grade student at Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School and has actively served her community since 2009. At the young age of 12, Katlyn began performing volunteer work with the March of Dimes Walk and the Fayette County Animal Rescue Shelter. Since then, she has single handedly raised thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of food for the Fayette Cares food pantry. She has collected and delivered thousands of books along with numerous children board games for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis. And . . . when you meet her, you know she has just begun. When asked what defines and drives her, Katlyn explained “I have so much compassion for helping others. I like to spend my time volunteering wherever I am needed, whether it is helping fellow humans or the furry babies of the world. My journey is simply to help others and to make a difference in the world. I have seen children going to bed hungry and wanted to stop that.” Katlyn’s inner beauty shines through her beautiful smile and

dancing eyes. While most teenage girls are interested in the latest hair styles, boys and dances, Katlyn’s interest fall on helping others. She is quick to express her strong belief that God placed her here to help others and blessed her with the gift of compassion for her fellow man. Accrediting her mother as her greatest influence, Katlyn shares that her mother, Lisa Shaver, has supported her throughout each volunteer act and attends each volunteer event. Lisa is a cancer survivor and has taught Katlyn and her brother to help others and always try to make a difference in others’ lives. Katlyn attributes this as one of the reasons she is so giving and looks at life differently. When not volunteering and assisting others, Katlyn collects Christmas Nut Crackers and enjoys cooking. One of her favorite pastimes is her Mother/Daughter days where they hang out, cook and bake, and care for animals. Katlyn plans to obtain a degree in business and culinary arts where she will one day own a chain of pastry businesses where she can hire individuals needing a second

chance at life. Katlyn will be a perfect guardian of our future. With her unyielding spirit, she will probably be a successful pastry chain mogul who will lead the charge to eradicate homelessness; feed the hungry; erase domestic violence; and empower those without financial stability.

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Briana LaFaye Brown

Dancer Extraordinaire â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Future World Dancer / Choreographer 60 |

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First Lady Michelle Obama, Briana & Katie Smythe, Director New Ballet Ensemble

When you envision a ballerina, you see a graceful body floating in air or your may see the amazing rarity of Baryshnikov’s combination of muscle, strength, agility, lilt and grace. We don’t have to look far to find all of the above. Tall, petite, absolutely beautiful, an expansive smile, and a quiet shyness, Briana LaFaye Brown, a Mid-South jewel, dances across your heart upon meeting her. Briana, granddaughter of Belinda Lowery, is a 12th grade student at Immaculate Conception Cathedral School. At the young age of seven, Briana began her road to Dancer Extraordinaire. Her mother, Quarlinda Brown, applied for Briana to obtain a scholarship to New Ballet Ensemble hoping it would help Briana become a great dancer and perhaps garner a scholarship to college. Briana received the scholarship and her journey began. Briana lost her mom early this year and now lives with her grandmother. Reflecting on her mom’s impact, Briana said “Out of every person who has willingly touched my life, in more ways than imaginable, my mother was always my guiding light. Sometimes I doubted myself, because my mother and I suffered many difficult circumstances together. I would feel as if things were going to crash down. She made every

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tough situation seem just a tiny bump in the road of our journey. Sadly, she left our journey in May of 2014.” Through heartbreak and hardships, Brianna has held her smile and her own. Dance and her grandmother have helped Briana through this life-changing experience. Dance brings Briana joy, and permits her to give back to others. She says through her dancing, she can expose the world of performing art to inner-city children. “Performing makes me happy. To see smiles on the faces of under-privileged children as they watch dance happening in front of them is a wonderful moment. To give them the opportunity to see performances and stage discipline; and, most importantly, to see people of every race or color doing it together.” Ballerinas are often compared to the grace of a swan as they glide on water. Earning accolades across the Mid-South in New Ballet Ensemble performances, Briana glides across the stage with superior ease. Although outwardly she appears at ease, her shyness can be gleaned from her inner thoughts. When asked to define herself, Briana said “I like to think of myself as evanescent, because of my tendency to move in and out of a feeling, movement, or situation. If I ever feel uncomfortable about something, for example,

I search for ways to move out of it immediately. Or, if I feel more content doing something, it is easy for me to slip away from it and try to find a way to make it even better. I guess I can never stay in one place for too long, essentially!” Briana wants to use her dance as a means to improve our community. She dreams of opening studios throughout the Mid-South with programs using New Ballet Ensemble as a model. New Ballet Ensembles’ program is to have one scholarship student for every paying student representing the community’s diversity. The program gained national recognition this year when awarded the 2014 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award. Briana describes that moment as the most exciting ever. “Meeting First Lady Obama . . . standing next to her . . . she touched me and it was unbelievable.” When not dancing, Briana enjoys drawing and writing. She enjoys choreography and has choreographed segments for her dance company’s performances. Looking at the road Briana is travelling, she will surely dance her way onto the world stage and probably become an Ambassador of Peace dispensing smiles to those who see her perform.

Where Innovation is Powered by STEAM Science • Technology • Engineering • Arts • Mathematics 901-416-4536 | 750 East Parkway South | Memphis, TN 38104

School Tours

Optional Open House

Preview Days

Tuesday & Thursday 8:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m.

January 15, 2015 6:00-8:00 p.m.

(5th graders only) Jan 20-23, 2015 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Tours and Previews are given by appointment only.

In collaboration with:

Scan to learn more about Maxine Smith Southern Soul l January Academy! 2015 | 63 STEAM

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Taste Life With Kat New Year... New You!


By: Kathy Kirk Johnson Photography by: Stephanie Norwood

I love the dawn of a new year. It represents the opportunity to do it better, get it right, become your authentic self, and fulfill your dreams. It is another chance to speak your goals into existence by memorializing them in the form of “resolutions.” The beauty of new beginnings is the opportunity to revitalize your spirituality, transform your body, and energize your mind.

What I love about soul food is that is it prepared with love; most of the ingredients are simple; and, usually prepared by cooking slow and low. What if life’s journeys were as easily understood . . . Does everything seem perfect in your life and only you know it is not? Are you up to your ears in debt? Is your spiritual life where you want it to be? Are you stuck in a career that everyone else has decided was for

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you? Do you desire a husband, but keep kissing frogs? Do you want a baby, but would love to have a wife first? Have you allowed others’ definition of time to cloud your mind with fear? Are your actions rooted in apprehension? Do you doubt your calling, yet every time you venture to steer away from that “calling,” it never really works out. Just try submitting. Condition your mind to the point where doubt is a stranger. Utilize your inner spirit of power, of love and sensible mind. Know that YOU must believe that what is for you will be. Do not allow what may be the best time of your life pass you by without savoring every single moment in it. Step out on faith, even if that means stepping away from the familiar… and do not look back!

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Now, I know you are thinking, what does this have to do with eating healthy? I have always found my personal “self-work” more fulfilling when it subconsciously harvests “self-worth.” Therefore, I challenge you. After you start eating healthy and exercising, where do you go from there? One of my goals this year is to eat more produce, fish, whole grains and healthy fats. But I do enjoy eating and I want to always enjoy what I eat. I love Mediterranean food. It is beneficial for your heart, and it promotes healthy skin and optimal brain function. Since you are what you eat, create new ways this year to eat cleaner food, pray or meditate daily, and most importantly, release endorphins through regular physical activity.

With any healthy eating plan, cooking your own meals allows you to control the salt and fat intake. So, this month, try these delicious Mediterranean dishes. Add a light lunch of hummus, homemade pita chips, and a traditional Greek salad to your packed lunch rotation, or invite some friends over to enjoy this flavorful meal, while scripting goals for 2015. For variety add grilled chicken breast or shrimp to the salad, and hydrate with homemade vitamin water (apple cinnamon water pictured).


Roasted Garlic Hummus 1 Can Of Chickpeas Rinsed And Drained ½ Cup Tahini (Sesame Paste) 1 Tablespoon (4-6 Cloves) Roasted Garlic* Juice of ½ Lemon 1 Tablespoon Cumin 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley (Or 2 Tablespoons Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley) 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika 1 Teaspoon Greek Seasoning ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt ¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1 ½ Teaspoons Sugar ¼ Teaspoon Accent (Optional)** ½ Cup Vegetable Broth 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large skillet, melt olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add onions and seasonings. Sauté until translucent. Add garlic. Sauté an additional minute. Set onion mixture aside to cool. Prepare creamed spinach as instructed on box, pour in a bowl and set aside to cool. Remove Italian sausage from its casing and separate into small chunks in a skillet. Cook sausage on medium heat until browned and slightly caramelized, using the spatula to chop meat into crumbles. Set the sausage aside to cool. Drain sausage. In large bowl, beat eggs, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and mayonnaise until light and frothy on top (about 2 minutes). [The longer you beat, the fluffier the quiche.] Add soup base (or bullion) and cheese to egg mixture. Whip another minute. [This is base for any quiche.] Spray mini muffin pan with butter flavored cooking spray. Add one half of onion mixture to spinach and remaining half to sausage. Place shredded parmesan cheese on bottom and sides of each muffin cup. Spoon a small amount of the desired fillings (e.g. spinach, sausage, chicken, bacon) on top of the parmesan cheese. Fill each cup ¾ full with egg mixture, top with casserole cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes (or until tops are puffed and have begun to brown). Transfer to wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Turn quiche out of muffin pan and arrange on a platter. Garnish with Sriracha (Asian chili sauce) and pesto. Southern Soul l January 2015

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Homemade Pita Chips 8 six inch Pitas ¼ cup Olive Oil 1 teaspoon Paprika ½ teaspoon black pepper Kosher Salt Preheat oven to 400. Add Pepper, paprika to olive oil. Whisk. Brush each side of pita with seasoned olive oil. Cut into sixths to make pita chips. Place in a single layer on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until lightly browned and crisp.

Greek Salad Romaine lettuce- (Optional) Red Onions Kalamata Olives (pitted) Feta Cheese Roma Tomato Cucumber Dressing: ½ Cup Olive Oil ½ Cup Lemon Juice I Tbs. Oregano 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt ½ Teaspoon Greek Seasoning 2 Teaspoons Raw Honey

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Use as little or as much of the above ingredients. Wash lettuce. Tear or cut into small pieces. Top with desired amount of veggies, olives and feta. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy! If you make the salad utilizing the traditional method (no lettuce), then allow the dressing to marinate into the vegetables for at least 20 minutes prior to serving.



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Visit us and ask for any Bridge specialist. Mention Southern Soul Magazine. Receive a free gift with purchase. Location: Spitfire Acres Photography by: Stephanie Norwood Makeup Artist and Stylist: Mauricus Craft Models: Stephanie Jones, Miller-Maison

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Downtown Elementary Optional Open House At Downtown Elementary Optional School learning comes alive through the school’s Enriched Academics Optional Program that features a special emphasis on Social Studies and technology integrated learning. Downtown Elementary is located in the heart of Downtown Memphis. Downtown Elementary Optional School provide students with:

• A Unique Learning Environment

• Highly Qualified and Experienced Staff • A Strong Curriculum

• An Outstanding Facility (equipped with state of the art technology) • High Parental and Community Involvement and Support • A Rigorous and Challenging Educational Experience

• Before and after care (which includes Foreign Language instruction)

• Extracurricular activities such as piano, orchestra, martial arts, foreign language, etc.

• Strong support and involvement from numerous Downtown entities which include but are not limited

to: University of Memphis Black Law School Association, Junior Achievement, UT Medical School, Organization of Black Aviation Professionals (mentoring, tutoring, guest speakers, club sponsors, etc). Where:

Downtown Elementary Optional School 10 N. 4th Street Memphis, TN 38103 Office (901) 416-8400


January 20-23 (8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.) January 22 (4:30-6 p.m.) Please visit our school website to learn more about our amazing school. The website address is : Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @dteskyscrapers!

uMatter! Photography by: Jay Adkins

Southern Soul Magazine believes in supporting our youth and giving them a voice. Southern Soul Magazine recently visited Bolton High School and asked: Who or what inspires you? You are required to spend the next year of your life in either the past or the future.

What year would you travel to, and, why? Some say social media is superficial, with no room for expressing deep or complex ideas.

Defy these skeptics by describing yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140 character limit of a tweet.

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“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

Adia Pore 12th Grade | Career Choice: Fashion Designer My mother inspires me because she always pushes me to be the best person I can be. She has always told me that I don’t come from an average family, so I should never be an average person. I would travel to 2020 because I know after all the trials and tribulations I’ve been through, I would be successful by this time. I have prepared myself with a step-by-step process to get me where I want to go. I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen. I am a very down to earth person. I have many talents that deserve recognition, but I try to stay humble and let my work speak for itself.

Andrew Farris 12th Grade | Career Choice: Criminal Attorney My FCCLA leader, Mrs. Rholedia Morgan. She inspires me to be the best I can be. I would go back to 1970, so I could dance the night away, and wear a huge Afro. I am a young African American male who shall overcome the odds. I shall overcome the stereotypes that are placed upon me, because I am a young man of valor.

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We asked: Who or what inspires you? What year would you travel to, and, why? Describe yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140 character limit of a tweet.

Brittany Black

Brittany Gordon

Briana Woodruff

12th Grade | Career Choice: Naval Chaplain

12th Grade | Career Choice: OB/GYN

My mother inspires me each and every day. For 15 years she has raised my sister and I as a single parent. Her willingness to move forward through any and all situations has motivated me to become who I am today. My mom is not a hero because she wants to be, she’s my hero because she had to be, and for that I am thankful.

My family inspires me everyday. They are the reason I am who I am. They encourage me to be better.

12th Grade | Career Choice: Biomedical Engineer

I would choose the future because I would like to improve the person I am, learn from my mistakes and impact the lives of others. I am very creative, and in my own unique way I am different. I love to rise above the status quo and set an example for others to follow. – Brittany Black

I would choose to go to the future. I would want to see where I’m going to be and how I can work harder to achieve more than what I already have achieved. I am a young, intelligent, inspirational young lady. I try my best to follow my faith in everything I say and do. I stand out because I’m a leader.

My mother inspires me the most in my life. She is a true example of a strong woman. She encourages me to become the best I can be. I would travel to the year 2024. I would like to see how successful I have become and if I achieved all my goals. Probably the nicest person you will ever meet. I am a loving, caring and understanding individual. I work hard for what I want and stand up for what I believe in.

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Joshua Watkins

Kelli Glover

Keith Sawyer

12th Grade | Career Choice: Video Game Designer

12th Grade | Career Choice: Language Arts Teacher

12th Grade | Career Choice: Music IndustrySongwriter

A major inspiration in my life is my father. He works hard at his job to ensure my brothers, sisters and I don’t end up with a job where we are unhappy. He always tells us if you work hard for the next 16 years, it will pay off in the next 50.

My mother, Lokita Glover, who is a teacher. I love the impact my mom has made on so many students. She shows them love and compassion. She always tries to make their year in her class one to remember. I also love how God-fearing my mom is.

I am inspired by a lot of things. Mainly people who are strongwilled. Personally, my mother inspires me. She is strong, independent and a determined single parent. Another person who inspires me on a daily basis, through his motivational words and encouraging messages, is the artist J. Cole.

I would travel to 2065. I would like to see all the improvements made by my generation and the rising potential of the next generation. Then I could travel back to the present knowing what the future holds and possibly start working on some of those changes now. I am a quiet and kind person. I usually don’t speak unless spoken to; but, I try my best to be friendly and make friends.

I would travel to the past during the civil rights movements. I just want to experience life during the times of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. When looking at me through social media, I am seen as a quiet and lonely person but I am more of a bubbly and outgoing person that wants to make a difference.

The future. I feel the events in my past happened for a reason. If my future is as bright and promising as I imagine . . . I can’t wait another day. I am a gentle and imperfect family man. I have high hopes for my future and those around me. – Keith Sawyer

We asked: Who or what inspires you? What year would you travel to, and, why? Describe yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140 character limit of a tweet.

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Devin Abraham 12th Grade | Career Choice: Psychiatrist My father, Shannon Abraham, is an inspiration to me. I admire his intelligence and aspiration to accomplish great things. He is known for always remaining professional and often remembered by students and co-workers as a good guy. These are qualities I strive to exhibit in my own life. I would travel a hundred years into the future to the year 2114. I would be interested in all the new technology that has been developed. I would endeavor to enjoy all the luxuries the future offers. I am a hard working student athlete, who is involved in community service. I try to laugh a lot and keep things lighthearted.

Haley Paige Dion Smith 12th Grade | Career Choice: Cardiovascular Surgeon I would say my family inspires me because without them I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the dreams or the mindset I have. I learned from their mistakes and it has shown me what to do and how to better my future. I want to travel to 2008. I want to prevent some of the thoughts and actions of my peers; to tell them some actions are not right or maybe I would suggest a better way to approach a particular situation. It is my dream to help people. I am a very kind, shy and curious person. My curiosity is what drives me to do well in school because I love learning new things. I am a very fun person to be around although it takes awhile for me to warm up to people; but, when I do I am a very nice and sweet friend.

12th Grade | Career Choice: Forensic Chemist My mom, Alisha Kinsey, inspires me because she has experienced a great deal of things in life, good and bad. In her tough times, she was still ticking through. Today, I believe those tough times made her the sweet, strong woman she is today and she teaches me how to be a better person. She is always the number one person in my corner, supporting me and I thank her for that. I love you mom. I would travel to the past because it would be nice to relive and observe. I would travel to my first Christmas because I would want to see how my parents reacted to their little girl opening gifts for the first time. Plus, I love Christmas and I love being a child, so it would be a win-win situation. I am an ambitious, loving, fierce, humble, Godfearing young lady. I could keep going but I would seem conceited. Southern Soul l January 2015

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We asked: Who or what inspires you? What year would you travel to, and, why? Describe yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140 character limit of a tweet.

School Stats Marlena Roberson-Bullard 12th Grade | Career Choice: Dietitian My sister, Courtney Bullard, inspires me because she is currently in college studying to be successful and I want to do the same. I would travel to 2001, when I was in kindergarten so I could compare the simplicity of life at that time to the complexity of life now. So much has changed and I think it would be interesting to compare. I am a free thinker. Individuality is an essence to my being. I take advantage of social media. It does not define me. I define it

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Mykaila Johnson

Optional Program • International Baccalaureate Programme

12th Grade | Career Choice: Astrophysicist

• Automotive Technology Activities

My inspiration comes from the unknown levels of science. Science always inspires me whether it’s about new findings or the unexplainable. The infinite possibilities of space always manage to spark my imagination and make me want to know more about space.

• Information Technology

Year 2019, because I want to know if I stayed on the path I wanted to walk on - to see if my dreams of becoming an astrophysicist came true. My peers like to call me a science geek; I agree. The number one thing I want to do in life is to have the opportunity to explore the mysteries of space by using math and logic. I have always wondered why the planets and stars don’t fall. How do they float? After finding out why, I was ecstatic. Just knowing one possibility sparked my interest to know all about space.

Opera Awarding Winning Choral Program The Leading School in Make A Wish projects Among the highest Contributors to Spring Build For Youth Program Walk For Water Participants – Completed water wells for two primary schools in Uganda Completed Christmas Cards for Veterans in cooperation with Red Cross Baskets for AGAPE Published School Magazine – Scratch

EduCARE Learning Center

“We’re more than ABCs; we take care of coughs and sneezes!”

Edu Edu = Education = Education ; CARE CARE = Sick = Sick Child Child Care Care










Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center 1555 McAlister Dr. Memphis, TN 38116 901-344-5931 • 901-273-5952 89 |

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A Glorious Birthday Celebration

Photograph by: Tony Franklin

A Night with The BLVD Sanctuary Choir


By: Toni Harvey

An invitation to a person’s home is a special moment. It means you are welcome into that person’s private sanctuary – where only special people are afforded an opportunity. Last month, Myra Tukufu and Joyce Blackmon invited me to their home . . . well, not exactly where they sleep, but where they worship. They simply said come hear our choir at our annual Christmas Concert. Well, of course, since the invitation was from two elegant and classy women, I expected a beautifully decorated church; a pastoral message; a choir; and, oh, by the way – two celebrity guest gospel singers; Lady Tramaine Hawkins and Ruben Studdard.

Tramaine Hawkins Photograph by: Tony Franklin

As I entered the sanctuary of the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, I got my first Christmas present for the year. Dim, subtle lights filled the air with a calming sense of expected joy; snowflakes danced off the ceilings with such dazzle you expected your nose to feel a drop of moisture; and, the church was a warm, welcoming breathtaking panorama of Christmas – the most magnificent birthday celebration of all! Just when I sat down, among an audience of thousands, the trumpets blared; announcing a procession of grandeur with beautiful women in Christmas Poinsettia Red Gowns and handsome men in stately black tuxedoes lifting their voices in unison to Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Wow! And the night began … What a night! Greetings from Senior Pastor of the BLVD, Reverend J. Lawrence Turner and the lovely First Lady Mrs. Bridgette Turner opened the evening. Conducted by Dr. Leo H. Davis, Jr., Minister

Lisa Knowles Southern Soul l January 2015

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Spotlight Photograph by: Tony Franklin

The BLVD Full Choir, Memphis Symphony Orchestra & Ruben Studdard

of Worship, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble joined the Blvd Sanctuary Choir to offer a collective musical extravaganza. All too-familiar Christmas carols were sung with such buoyant melodious tones, the audience swayed gently to the beats not wanting to interrupt a moment of perfection.

Photograph by: Herman Williams

Then, the all too smooth Ruben Studdard took center stage opening with Silent Night and Flying Without Wings showcasing his rich textured voice and musical range. Keeping the momentum going, others joined the stage with a melody mix of Christmas/ Gospel. Among those taking stage was the trio, Tiffany Mosley, Tiffany Tyson, and Carolyn Wright. Duets were

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Ruben Studdard

sung by Karen Brown and Pastor Chris Williams, and Sheri JonesMoffett and David Edwards. Richard Horner sang solo and Lisa Knowles brought the audience to its feet.

Photograph by: Herman Williams

Just when you thought it couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get better, Lady Tramaine Hawkins delivered the nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crescendo. Her soul-stirring voice lifted the audience to a new height ending the night and sending the audience home with an inspirational, toe-tapping melodious memory. Oh, what a night! Oh, what a joyous occasion!

L to R - Rev J Lawrence Turner - Tramaine Hawkins - First Lady Turner Photograph by: Herman Williams

Photograph by: Herman Williams

Tramaine Hawkins

Dr Leo H Davis, Jr.

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The Bar-Kays Turn 50

Photography by: Stephanie Norwood

Larry Dodson and James Alexander

Ben Cauley Mary Jane Girls

Doug E. Fresh

Mary Jane Girls

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Southern Soul l January 2015


The Bar-Kays Turn 50

Photography by: Stephanie Norwood

Sir Charles

Sir Charles

Mr. Alvin & Judge Betty Moore

Larry Dodson Southern Soul l January 2015

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The Bar-Kays Turn 50

Mr & Mrs. Roby Williams

Photography by: Stephanie Norwood

James Alexander Elise Neal


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Southern Soul Magazine - January 2015  
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